The oldest of the Jewish cemeteries remaining in Padua is that of via Wiel, used since the 16th century. until the eighteenth century located outside the medieval walls, but protected by the ramparts of the 16th century. It was enlarged in 1653 thanks to Salomone Marini, rabbi of the "Jewish University of Padua".
The cemetery among the numerous tombs houses the tomb of Meir Katzenellenbogen born in Prague in 1473 and died in Padua in 1565, author of "Responsa", which illustrates the function of doctor of jurisprudence of the rabbis of the time, rather than an intermediary between the faithful and God. The tomb of Rabbi Meir and his son Samuel, also a Talmudic rabbi, still remember the visits all over the world, as shown by the small stones placed on his tombstone.
Another famous tombstone is that of Abramo Catalano, a Paduan doctor; During the plague of 1630-1631, he and three other Jewish doctors were charged with monitoring the living conditions in the ghetto and taking the necessary measures to contain the infection. At that time, 727 people lived in the ghetto of Padua, of which 634 were affected by the plague and 421 died. These deaths were probably buried in mass graves, no trace of their burial was found in the cemetery.
The guided tour of the historic cemetery on Via Wiel takes place every Sunday at 10am, departing from the Jewish Museum of Padua (via delle Piazze, 26). Visits are conducted in Italian and English, in case of bilingual need.